Another bill aimed at ethics is working its way through the legislature.
The Senate State and Local committee unanimously passed a bill that bans elected officials who’ve been convicted of a felony from ever running for another public office in Tennessee. Knoxville Republican Jamie Woodson is the bill’s sponsor.
“We’ve talked a great deal about ethics and public trust. And it seems very simple – that this is one of those areas if you breach the public trust in so large a manner then you will no longer have the privilege of running for public office and serving your community in that capacity.”
The senate committee’s action comes just one week after former State Representative Chris Newton was sentenced to a year in prison for accepting 15-hundred dollars in bribes. Those were felony charges, so if the Woodson’s bill passes, Newton would not be eligible to run for an elected office in Tennessee, even if his voting rights are restored.
The bill also prevents office holders in other states, including those in Washington D.C., from seeking public office in Tennessee if they’re convicted of a felony while in office.